This post was guest blogged by Dan Tanner of dan-ruth-tanner.com
Iâ€™ve just read an excellent article by Miss Laurelle JnoBaptiste over at The Dominican – another Web site devoted to news about Dominica. The article provokes the following thoughts from me.The reader should know this about me: My wife and I are white Americans. Her familyâ€™s history in America dates back to 1620, while I am the American-born child of immigrants. We are in our 60s and retired. We have been coming to Dominica since 1987 and four years ago we bought a small plot of land and have built a home there. We will retire to live in that home later this year. My background is as a scientist, and I had been active in the civil rights and anti-war movements in the US.
Ms. JnoBaptiste wrote
Because Dominica was, and continues to be, a very patriarchal society, I understood that my job options would be limited to clerical roles such as those performed by a bank teller, or a teacher.
My thought on that is that itâ€™s very regrettable that Dominica apparently does not offer women the same rights it does to men. Unfortunately, that is the case in many societies, often bolstered by some basis in religious teaching or doctrine. We have one child, a daughter, and were adamant in ensuring that she was allowed to fulfill her potential. Alas, we couldnâ€™t always get that result, but sheâ€™s come pretty close.
She also wrote
Consequently, I, along with the majority of others, associated the priest with the image of Jesus Christ – and that made him a superior being. By extension, anyone who looked like the priest and Jesus Christ were considered superior beings.
My reaction is that I continue to be amazed that so many victims of religious education think that Jesus would have looked European. He was a Jewish carpenter and would lave looked Semitic; with a fairly dark complexion and hair and brown eyes, not light-skinned with light hair and blue eyes. Not that it matters â€“ religion is nonsense and stifles inquiry and knowledge into anything that challenges its made-up doctrines.
She also wrote that
the education and socialization that I received in Dominica prepared me to take my place in a global society where my history and ancestors are viewed as second class to that of the Anglo Saxon or European history and ancestry.
Yes, racism exists and is often still practiced. However, racism is also a cover-up for exclusion based on economic or other privilege. It exists in every society, and is not peculiar to the Black/Anglo-Saxon relationship. In Vietnam, the lighter-skinned general population discriminated against the darker-skinned minority people from the hill country. In India, the skin-color caste system is still a horror and a scourge. I can only hope that people of all color will stop and think about whatâ€™s inside others â€“ their character â€“ before making false judgments based on skin color.